15th and Market Streets
|You've probably driven through the site of this building like 5 million times. Image from Cardcow.com. Go buy one.|
Pennsylvania Railroad had this really thin, long, crooked-U-shaped empty lot across the street from the station. The monocled railroad tycoons in their top hats and coats with big collars and shit were like "We can easily solve the problem! We'll build a tall commercial building with a pedestrian bridge over Market Street that will funnel people into a shopping center along the sidewalk!! When it rains and snows, we'll be even more rich!! Bahahahah! Now let us sacrifice a kitten to Molech."
They solved the problem of building a 13 storey building on a sliver of a lot by BUILDING IT OVER THE SIDEWALK. This created a promenade of shops called the Arcade. Really, the same idea behind the atrocity known as the Gallery was used here. Railroad passengers coming off their trains would take the pedestrian bridge across dangerous Market Street and end in a tunnel full of stores right on the sidewalk. Then they would buy shit.
Are there any buildings in the city today that straddle over a sidewalk? We have some that straddle over a whole street, but a 13-storey building OVER a sidewalk? How the fuck did they get away with that one? Well, as usual, you can count on our wonderful city's corrupt-as-shit city government. They probably approved this idea based on someone accidentally dropping a burlap sack with a dollar sign on it during the proposal.
Of course, in order to ensure maximum kick-asstitude for this structure, they hired Frank Furness and his gang to design this cool-ass building. Furness knew that the building should complement his masterpiece Broad Street Station but also look cool on its own. For him this was as about as easy as falling asleep is to us humans. He threw together a big Victorian Longhouse of Doom:
|Back when City Planners had balls.|
|Did I mention that Frank Furness got busy in a Burger King bathroom?|
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That's it right there. That streetview above is the site of the Arcade Building. The curve in Penn Square runs straight through the site. Thanks Ed. Furness would have kicked your ass if he knew about this.
|Only color picture I could find of this beast.|